Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Open Office Failure (Score 1) 123

The popularity of these among upper management is typically because of cost or control reasons. They're much cheaper than closed offices, and management can walk by to see exactly what you're doing.

It's not only that. There is this myth floating around for the past couple decades that "collaboration" is the cool new workplace thing. People read stories about Google or Apple and tales of workers just randomly meeting in some common room and brainstorming the next new cool thing, and managers start drooling and saying, "Yeah -- let's get rid of the office walls. Get rid of the cubes! Break down the barriers, and we'll get better collaboration, which means more creative and efficient work!"

Yeah, except that doesn't actually work. It's true that chance encounters with coworkers can be beneficial for brainstorming or bouncing ideas or whatever, but that happens best when you're OPEN TO THAT, which means you're not deeply focused on some specific task at your desk or whatever. More recent studies are showing (surprise!) that workers actually need lack of distractions, and a more isolated environment is often easier for that. The best office approach would be to offer both options -- closed offices for when you're focused on a task... and then open spaces, or tables, or common areas, or whatever when you're less focused and are open for random contact and collaboration.

Actually, those people who have real, actual offices already have those options -- because they have a door. If you are working intently, you shut your door. If you want to be open for other random communication, you keep your door open.

Typical penny wise & pound foolish mentality. The constant interruptions that occur end up costing them much more in the long run.

True. Studies show that workers in "open plan" offices are less productive, tend to be more distracted, have more health issues and stress, take more sick days, etc., etc. It was a terrible idea, and probably never saved money in the long run.

Comment Re:Interesting, but probably irrelevant (Score 2) 66

Is the recipient of a mix CD a copyright infringer? If not, it doesn't make any sense that a downloader would be either.

Your argument relies on some sort of distinction between "who makes the copy." In the mix CD case, where it's given to you, yes, you obviously didn't make a copy.

However, if you load up your torrent manager and say "download please!" you are making your own copy, which is then stored locally, just like pushing the button on a copy machine.

The one who started out in possession of the media, made and distributed a copy of it, is violating the right to control copying and distribution, i.e. copyright.

To continue the analogy, it's like a library places a book on a public shelf. You are the one choosing to take it off that shelf, walk over to the copy machine, push the button, and then take the photocopy home with you.

It seems you may also be trying to make the argument that the person who originally ripped the copy or whatever was infringing, but you're not by making a copy of that copy. Except that doesn't work in the analogy either. If you go to an office where somebody has made an illegal photocopy of a book, and you take that photocopy and make your own photocopy, you're still violating copyright.

If that's weren't true, I could just download a (legal) PDF that was made from a print journal from a library, and then place that PDF on my own public website for anyone else to download, and I wouldn't be guilty of infringement. After all, I didn't make the PDF myself -- I didn't "rip" the media, so why should I be guilty of anything?

Someone who started out with nothing, copied nothing, distributed nothing, but ends up in possession of something that someone else illegally copied and distributed, has done what exactly that violates what law?

You are correct that you "distributed nothing," which is why GP argues that the case is harder to make, and excessive damages are harder to justify. But you're wrong about the fact that you "copied nothing," since you ordered your computer to do precisely that, just as if you'd press the "copy" button on a copy machine.

Comment Re: Exactly what we need (Score 1) 62

These attacks rely on security shortcomings of said devices. Whether they can make one or a million requests per second doesn't change the game, the problem is that there are many such compromised devices, not that a single one of them is causing a lot of traffic.

The problem is actually less the amount of traffic. That amount did increase, yes, but until the IoT became a part of the attack, most of the high volume attacks were reflected DNS attacks or similar that could easily be filtered at scrubbers. You simply run your traffic through a scrubber with a fat pipe, it filters all the DNS replies and presto, instant solution. Doesn't work anymore now that these devices are not reflecting, they actually are numerous enough to run attacks that look like genuine http(s) requests. No chance to filter that. And it doesn't matter whether this single device can be limited to X requests. The problem is the number of compromised devices.

So unless you're willing to cripple the devices to the point where they become essentially useless, this is the wrong approach.

The right approach is to disable the more damaging properties of the device until they are properly set up. The very least this must consist of is a change of the default password. The current batch of attacks is mostly relying on IoT devices connected to the internet with the default password still valid. Most of them because the users never bothered to change it, but sadly there are even devices where "changing" the default password only adds another valid password to the list and the default credentials remain valid.

This is the core of the current problem.

Comment Re:and if I shoplift a rack full of CD's it's just (Score 3, Insightful) 65

Because copyright law is bunch of crude analogies hacked together that used the physical encodings of information as a proxy for a creator's financial interests in a work. It worked great in the age of print when mainly you were talking about books which were cheap to mass produce but expensive to copy.

But today, conceptualizing an author's rights to a work as a monopoly on copying leads to nonsensical results. Suppose I download a song to the same computer twice, as can easily happen. Technically because the thing I did wrong was copying, I infringed *twice*; however it hardly does twice the harm to the author's interests. On the other hand if I copy that song once but listen to it a thousand times, you could reasonably argue I'm doing more harm to the author's interest than if I downloaded it a thousand times but *never* listened to it.

It's all just a way to get content creators paid; a ridiculously complex and arcane way, but it's familiar because it's traditional. You can't expect it to make sense, especially by trying to draw subtly different analogies.

Comment Re:Saw this coming years ago. (Score 1) 185

A lot of people think if they stand to make $1 on a $1 zillion project they should do it, but the real world doesn't work that way.

$1 profit is *way* more than some startup businesses plan for (many have no plan at all for profit, only market share), and yet they often still do it and sometimes raise billions of dollars in the process...

Let's take Twitter as an example. They currently have about -$2B in retained earnings (mostly convertible debt). There is no current business plan to pay this back and their most recent strategy was to attempt to sell the business and eat the debt (and their most recent suitor Salesforce has walked away). Yet Twitter is a real world company "zillion" dollar project...

The problem with Google Fiber was they didn't have enough dumb investors to soak (they only had Alphabet)...

Comment Re:Doesn't Netflix do this in its main interface? (Score 1) 39

>>> "the Watch List," the app will recommend shows based on the content viewers access through their Apple TV

> I seem to remember Netflix suggestions just showing up on my main content selection screen. Never having seen one, why does an Apple TV need a separate app to suggest TV shows to its viewers?

Tivo suggested things for you 17 years ago.

If iTunes was less lame, it would already be doing this (like Amazon).

Slashdot Top Deals

Enzymes are things invented by biologists that explain things which otherwise require harder thinking. -- Jerome Lettvin